How To Remove Chocolate Stains

Life is like a box of chocolates — messy. Many find themselves battling more messes during the fall and winter seasons when we're spending more time in the kitchen than normal, hosting family and friends for big meals. If you're opting to contribute a chocolate treat to the holiday dessert table, it doesn't hurt to have some cleaning hacks up your sleeve for the inevitable spill, stain, or splatter. To save your carpet, upholstery, and linens you'll need a stain remover from the grocery store, ice, and detergent.

Two ingredients in chocolate cause it to cling stubbornly to fabric surfaces. The first, oil, isn't impacted by water. So, scrubbing it can often just rub the oil deeper into the material, creating an even bigger mess. The second culprit, cocoa powder, contains a substance called tannin. Tannin is also present in wine and coffee. It's extremely darkly colored and known for leaving tough stains. 

If you do encounter a chocolate stain, it's critical to address the mess as soon as possible. The longer it goes untreated, the more difficult the stain will become to remove.

Stick to simple solutions and cold water

Avoid the stress of ruining your clothes or dropping your pie this holiday season by stashing stain remover in your purse. Better Homes and Gardens suggests Shout stain remover for chocolate stains. Stain removers work because they oxidize the stain, making it easier to remove. They also contain enzymes that break down proteins and fats, both of which are in chocolate.

With clothing, it's as simple as rubbing the stain remover into the fabric and rinsing it with water until the stain lifts. Use cold water because hot water will make the stain more permanent. Then throw it in the washing machine for a cycle. Let the clothing air dry because heat will seal in any remnants of the stain. You can try rubbing baking soda into stains that aren't coming out, too.

You'll also want to use cold water for carpet and upholstery stains. For upholstery, there's a cleaning hack you need to know. Freezing the chocolate with an ice cube can make the mess easier to brush out. From there, blot out the stain with dish detergent or stain remover.